Gambling has numerous negative consequences. While it is an enjoyable pastime, it can also take time away from other activities and lead to financial ruin. Problem gambling can have devastating consequences that materialize on a personal, interpersonal, community, and societal level. For example, it can result in a bankrupt person, affecting not only the family’s financial situation, but also creating social care costs. These costs are not just personal but also social, because the social care services must be paid for by a problem gambler.
Costs of problem gambling
The costs of problem gambling are not only the direct costs that individuals incur, but also the indirect costs that society incurs. These costs include lost productivity, emotional distress, and suicide. These costs are relatively small when compared to the total costs of the problem, and they have led to more investments in problem gambling treatment and prevention. A recent study conducted in Sweden estimated that the costs of problem gambling totaled EUR1419 million in 2018, which is roughly double the amount of tax revenue generated by gambling.
While the costs associated with problem gambling are considerable, the economic impact of this addiction cannot be overstated. Public policy makers must consider these costs in the overall context of gambling in order to make the most effective decisions on the issue. For example, a study done by Thompson et al. found that the costs associated with gambling were $307,023,246 per year in Wisconsin. This estimate did not take into account costs associated with non-pathological gamblers, which would further increase the costs of problem gambling.
Impacts of problem gambling on society
The economic and social costs of problem gambling are often ignored in research. Economic costs are measured in terms of monetary value, and social costs are measured in terms of nonmonetary values. Nonetheless, the impact of problem gambling on society is still difficult to quantify. The costs associated with gambling are both social and personal, and the impact of problem gambling on society is largely unforeseen. The following is a brief discussion of the social costs and benefits of gambling.
Increased access to gambling has been linked with increased crime rates, such as driving while intoxicated. The presence of casinos in a city has also led to greater social inequality, with higher-income households spending more money on gambling than lower-income households. In fact, the costs of problem gambling are estimated to amount to between $51 and $243 million a year. The costs associated with illegal gambling are a major concern as well, as the impact of problem gambling can reach far beyond individual individuals.